City Discusses Armed Citizens; COVID-19 Updates; Festival of Books Cancelled

City Discusses Armed Citizens

The Florence City Council met last night with a new format using the gotowebinar software.  The meeting included a presentation by Florence Police Chief Tom Turner regarding last Thursday’s encounter with open carry residents that were patrolling Old Town.  Turner addressed the council and  reiterated the press release that went out on Friday.  Mayor Henry said the City received many letters of concern from citizens who witnessed the  event and councilor Greene stated that the armed citizens were aggressive when it came to interactions with other members of the public.

“My concern is the manner in which they acted towards particular citizens, they weren’t just exercising the right to be open gun, they were hostile and they scared people.”

Concerns were voiced as to what effect it might have on visitors to the area as the city of Florence has already seen a 23 percent reduction in revenue from the state room tax due to the restrictions put on by the executive order Stay Home Save Lives.  The council also reviewed the biennium budget and how the coronavirus pandemic has affected Florence.

COVID-19 Updates

Lane County Coronavirus testing has exceeded 13,700 tests.  There has been no new cases reported in Lane County and the total is currently at 80 positive tests.  Statewide the number of positive tests is now at 4,922 with almost 150 thousand tests conducted.  Yesterday’s results include 114 new confirmed cases and tops the century mark for the second day in a row.  The latest death is a 71 year old Malheur County man who tested positive on June 1.

Festival of Books Cancelled

The September Florence Festival of Books has announced that they are cancelling this year’s event.  Due to the coronavirus and restrictions by Governor Kate Browns Executive Order event coordinators feel that they will not be able to work within the restrictions on number of participants in large gatherings indoors.  In addition the event location, the Florence Events Center remains closed.